Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Ch 34:19,33
"When the king [Josiah] heard the words of the Law, he tore
his robes" (2Ch 34:19).
He might easily have said, 'How interesting! We should begin a
study of this unique historical document!' Or 'Let's form a committee to look
into this!' Or 'So what?' But instead, he repents immediately, and then begins
to take action!
"Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the
territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel
serve the LORD their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the
LORD, the God of their fathers" (v 33).
When the Book of the Law was discovered in Josiah's reign, it
is likely that he read of the evils which Moses had prophesied would come about
if the Jews neglected God. He sent to inquire of God what he might do to avert
this judgment. God's answer was that it was too late; the calamities were on the
way. However, because Josiah was faithful and God-fearing, they would not come
in his day. Thus the first fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning a
northern invader, may have been averted because of Josiah and the resurgence in
his day of Judah's right worship. (The Scythians passed by Palestine. However,
the Babylonians would not.) While he lived Josiah indeed did God's will, so that
"all his days the children of Israel departed not from following the LORD" (2Ch
34:33). Not only did he cleanse Judah, but he was also instrumental in reducing
idolatry in Israel.
Reading 2 - Hos 2:13
" 'I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the
Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but
me she forgot,' declares the LORD" (Hos 2:13).
"Have you ever had a day or a week slip by when life's
pressures and pleasures seem to fill the whole of your life from morning till
night, only to discover -- when you take stock of your day -- that you had not
read your Bible, prayed or walked with God at all? It may be that we have
'idols' that take our time -- things that are more important than God. It may be
that nothing is more important but everything is more urgent. With God there are
no deadlines, yet every day we face deadlines in our busy schedules -- deadlines
that must be met. But sometimes these deadlines squeeze God out of the picture
and He is forgotten.
"Even though God must be the most important thing in our
lives, He is often the easiest to forget because He has given us the
responsibility of ordering our lives, instead of ordering them for us.
"So let us resolve no longer to be like Israel who forgot God,
but instead let us set times, priorities and deadlines that will help us to
remember our God, to love Him and to live for Him" (Robert Prins).
Reading 3 - Acts 16:25
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns
to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them" (Acts 16:25).
"Those men at Philippi knew beyond any doubt that they were
not alone. They knew in their deepest hearts that all things were working
together for good under the providential hand of God. Bodily they seemed to be
in the hand of the jailer, but spiritually they knew they were in the hand of
God. As it turned out even the jailer was part of the great purpose: very soon
he is washing their stripes. They had an unalterable conviction that nothing
could separate them from the love of Christ. They trusted in the profound secret
that the city was being built and that one day it would come down out of heaven
from God. They knew that no power on earth could prevent it, and they were part
of it. Sin was defeated; pardon was full and free; death was vanquished. The
King was alive for evermore. This gives cause for joy and joy gives cause for
song" (Dennis Gillett, "Genius of Discipleship").